Childhood is an important time for bone growth and development. Along with the rest of the body, the bones grow rapidly through childhood and into puberty before settling into the basic size and density they’ll carry through adulthood.
This means children’s orthopedic health is central to the overall bone health of a person for the rest of their life.
1. Bone-Friendly Diet
The construction of strong, dense bones in childhood requires a wide range of vitamins and minerals. A healthy diet provides the building blocks for children’s orthopedic health. A bone-friendly diet includes the following:
- Fruit and vegetables – at least five portions every day
- Carbohydrates – such as potatoes, pasta and rice
- Protein – such as beans, nuts and eggs
- Dairy products – such as milk and cheese
Most of the calcium in a person’s body is absorbed and used during childhood and puberty. Calcium is particularly important during puberty because the bones grow quicker than at any other time. A childhood diet that includes large portions of calcium-rich foods such as broccoli, spinach, cheese and milk helps ensure good bone health into old age.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is important for bones because it helps a child’s body to absorb calcium. The main source of vitamin D is sunlight, which is made by our skin when its exposed during the summer months. Children should take daily vitamin D supplements to ensure they get enough.
4. Daily Exercise
Children should engage in physical activity every day. It’s important part of promoting bone health. Children should not be allowed to be sedentary for long periods, so limiting time on activities like watching TV or playing video games is a good idea.